December 22, 2010Dirgha Raj Prasai
Dear Dirgha Raj Prasai jee
Good to hear from you. I am glad that you have spared time from your busy schedule to write to me and I am also glad to know that you have been reading my articles and appreciating them. Thanks for calling me “top intellectual” which I don’t claim to be
Looks like you were unable to appreciate my article this time. I exhort you to read it thoroughly with due care and open mind and arrive at a conclusion without any undue haste (neither with any preconceived ideas, nor any predilection). I reject your contention that my article is biased. In order for you to be right you will have to prove that my analysis is biased; forget being “very biased.” My challenge to you is to establish even an iota of bias in each of my analyses which are based on the dispassionate analysis of the 2015 constitution and the extant political system of the time, with philosophical detachment.
The problem with intellectuals in Nepal is that they label any opinion that they are unable to agree with as “biased.” I, as mentioned above, have made an objective analysis of the constitution of 2015 and the political system thereunder. I, therefore, have challenged you to prove my analysis wrong from any perspective. I have quoted the relevant articles of the constitution and you should read the constitution, especially the articles I have referred to and analyzed, and only then call me biased if you are able to establish any such bias. If you are able to prove any component of my analysis wrong, then I will accept that I have been biased and will publicly accept my bias and tender public apology. I firmly believe that it is well neigh impossible for you to do so. I have thrown the gauntlet at you and you are at liberty to pick it up.
Since a long time I had been hearing politicos (especially Kangresis) going about complaining that Mahendra’s action of first Paush, exactly fifty years back, was unconstitutional and it was a “coups d'état.” The term “coups d'état” is defined by Wikipedia as the sudden, illegal deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either civil or military. But Mahendra’s action didn’t entail illegal deposition of Koirala government, as the constitution, under which the election was held and the cabinet formed under the leadership of BP Koirala, had vested necessary power and authority for the purpose in the king’s hand by article 55 and 56; to do what he exactly did on that day. Besides, Mahendra even could have used Article 12 to do cherry picking with the ministers (to individually sack them) he didn’t like, but he didn’t resort to it. My first objective in publishing the particular article was to prove that Mahendra’s said action was not unconstitutional at all and, hence, it did not amount to a “coups d'état.” I am sure that you will agree with me on this.
Second objective of my article was to conduct an analysis to establish/check democratic credentials of the constitution and the system at that time under that constitution. Unfortunately, for the sympathizers of that particular constitution and that particular political dispensation, no element of democracy existed in that constitution and the system by any stretch of imagination. You please mind that I have specifically analyzed the King’s proclamation of the constitution, Preamble of the constitution, Articles 7(c), 12, 42, 57, 73, 74, 75, 77, etc. of it, besides Article 55 and 56 of it as well as Article 68 of Interim Constitution of 2007. The challenge to you to is to read all of these verbatim and word by word and check and prove if I have misinterpreted any of these, or twisted a word out of the context; or if have I misconstrued any of them.
Thanks a lot for showing concern for my prestige. My prestige would have been negatively impacted if I had misinterpreted the provision of the constitution or twisted it out of context or misconstrued any of them. As I have not done any such thing my prestige is intact and unassailable. I am apprehensive that you have staked your own prestige unnecessarily by making false allegation against me.
You have mentioned that “majority of our political leaders are Indian agents”. I trust that you have necessary evidence to prove them as such. I have yet to come across any evidence to corroborate it, however, in analyzing issues related to water resources of Nepal, I have been forced time and again to wonder why do they accept deals such that India ends up being disproportionately benefitted from these deals. This is not limited to politicos only. Majority of bureaucrats and businessmen also behave in similar fashion. To add insult to injury, they come up with convoluted logic to defend such bad deals. Similarly, most of the politicos are corrupt; there is ample evidence to prove it. I have had many a occasions to wonder whether they are corrupt and therefore, always sign up deals against Nepal’s interest or they are antinational and therefore, resort to corrupt practices.
I am prepared to grant that it may have been historical necessity or geographic imperative for what Mahendra did on that particular day. You, in other words, may be able to justify his action from the perspective of nationalism, patriotism, or necessity due to history or geography, but it will still not make that particular constitution and the system under it democratic. In that particular article of mine of about 1,000 words, I have not done an analysis from historical or geographic perspective. I have made a dispassionate analysis of the provisions of the constitution mentioned in my article with philosophical detachment which led to the conclusion that I have drawn.
Mahendra may have been a great democrat at heart (I have read somewhere that queen Ratna would cook and serve food personally to PM Koirala), and he may have taken the step in Nepal’s national interest but with all the powers of the government (legislature, executive and judiciary) concentrated in him, including power to “give” constitution to his “subjects” and also to amend it as and when it pleased him, the constitution and the system of the time could in no way be called a democratic one. It was plainly and simply an absolute monarchy. The difference between panchayat as a system that followed the aforementioned action and that one was only the fact that political parties were allowed to exist which was prohibited thereafter (till 2047). There is no relationship between your allegation as to my article being biased and the fact that Birendra too was born in Paush or Paush 27 being celebrated as national unity day. Meaning these things in history will not be able to prove bias in my article.
The historical facts as such are incontrovertible and I have not spent a word to deny them.
Similarly, I grant that restriction on purchase of landed property by foreigners is a step in the national interest. East-west highway definitely is Nepal’s economic backbone and he did demonstrate foresight in conceptualizing it and laying its foundation. But the constitution and dispensation at that time still lacked necessary elements of a democratic system. I am also happy that Mahendra made Indian security personnel stationed in Nepal leave. This has made me a fan of him (with respect to his nationalistic stance) and I have mentioned this fact, appreciatively, in a number of my articles and presentations. I also appreciate (also have mentioned it in numerous articles) that Birendra rather decided not to have Karnali Chisapani project, 10,800 MW, implemented as Indian government wanted to station Indian security force for the security of that project in Nepal’s territory. Even now one reason behind my opposition to building of hydropower projects in Nepal for export of power to India with Indian investment is this concern. My contention is that Nepal should secure firm assurance in this respect prior to allowing them to go ahead with such projects; provided that such projects do serve national interest from all other perspectives.
Toni Hagen too seems to be in agreement with me. I didn’t know this. Thanks for the information.
Take care and keep in touch.
With best regards,
Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA
Senior Water Resource Analyst
From: Dirgha Raj Prasai [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 21:42
Subject: Very biased article- today's Kantipur
Dear Mr. Ratna Sansar Shrestha jee !
I had been reading all your articles which are appreciated. But, I am sorry that you have forgetten all the reality of the Nepalese politics. The article which is published in Kantipur-Pous 1, is completly biased. You are a top intellucual but why you have forgetten your prestige ?
You know-the most unfortunate fact is that majority of our political leaders are Indian agents. It is worthless to expect from these leaders to save our nationality and independence. Unless traitors and corrupt leaders dominating in the big parties are chased away, democracy and nationalism will not be secured. There is no alternative to parliamentary democracy in Nepal. But it does not mean that we follow Indian orders and perish Nepal’s identity. The definition of Nepal’s nationality is to maintain balanced bilateral diplomatic ties with both the countries, China and India, based on democracy and by protecting its pride.
You must understand the facts of History. Before 1960, the situation of Nepal was in dangerous position. Then, the king Mahendra assumed power abolishing the parliament to save Nepal from drowning on 1 Poush (13 December). Nepalese across the nation and non resident Nepalese illuminated butter lamps at houses against Indian expansionism while celebrating king Mahendra’s step on 1 Poush. King Mahendra used to say- The traitor leaders of party, divide not only the people but also the nation. The then king Mahendra did on 1 Poush 2017 (15 December 1960) for prosperity of prosperous, sovereign Nepal and Nepalese is immortal in the history of nationalism. Likewise, patriotic King Birendra was born in 14 Poush (29 December). King Prithvi Narayan Shah the Great was born in the month of Pous created a greater Nepal to protect it from British attack.
Before 1960, foreigners were free to purchase land in Nepal. After 1961, king Mahendra banned foreigners from purchasing Nepalese land. People were compelled to walk through Indian roads to move from one Nepali district to other. In 1961, King Mahendra laid the foundation for East-West Highway at Gailakot to free the people of Indian torment. Nepali language was continued as national language across the nation. Before 1960, 90% of Indian currency notes were in use which was removed and use of Nepali currency was made compulsory. Our pride was restored. King Mahendra without any condition asked the Indian force deployed for security of Nepal to leave.
A Swiss geologist and scholar, Toni Hagen first came in 1950 as a member of the Swiss Mission for Development Aid. His first job was to conduct Nepal's first geological survey. About the reality of the Nepalese politics and the intention of King Mahendra he said- 'I call back December 1960 when King Mahendra staged the royal coup. I never agreed with King Mahendra this step. On the other hand, I would say looking back into the history that King Mahendra was a very great personality. It is mainly for his merit that Nepal survived as an independent country between two big neighbors. He was very clever and handled the dedicate issues.' 25 Nov.1992- Weekly newspaper- The Independent' King Mahendra incorporated the phrase ‘Hindu Kingdom’ in the constitution upgrading the morale of India and Hindus all over the world. His work increased Nepal's prestige. He introduced Nepal in the United Nations by adopting the ideology of foreign policy. He maintained a balanced friendship with Chinese powerful leader Mao Ze Dong and Indian powerful Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. King Mahendra introduced more than 50 industries and organizations that directly benefit the people, fulfilled the essential as education, health, transportation, roads construction, irrigation, electricity. In 17 August, 1963 the late King introduced the Muluki Ain (people's code) and made attempt to break untouchables, caste discrimination and policy of gender-discrimination. In 1955 he declared land reform act and abolished landlords, secured the right of farmers by ending Birta (feudal) system. King Mahendra managed the way of active people's participation in the development sectors from the grass root levels He divided Nepal into 14 administrative zones with 75 districts in it. However, the king had not divided the country based on ethnicity or the origin of people residing in the respective zones or districts which is not possible even today. There were more than 4000 villages every village was divided into nine wards and 35 municipalities whose wards were divided 9-35, vary as per the size of the town. That is why he is immortal.
The British Empire, spreading in Asia, after getting hold of its influence in India had eyed on mountainous region of Nepal. It was not an easy task to fight British imperialistic force in the mid 18th century. But the nation’s nationality is in a dangerous turn. The rulers after the 2006 insulted the major policy of Unity in Diversity to disrespect the creator of the nation and national unification. They have disrespected the Nepal’s sovereignty by scraping public holiday on 27 Pous celebrated as National Unity Day. It is condemnable. Nepali people aspire for political stability and peace through the medium of parliamentary democracy. But an attempt has been made to break these very norms and ridicule the golden history of Nepal’s national unification. Prithvi Narayan Shah unified the small Hindu states and protected Buddhism and other religions. Because the king had kept the originality of mountainous Nepal was kept alive by allowing the Moon-Sun depicting flag to flutter, we Nepalese are proudly known in the world. Nepalese who disrespects and forgets Prithvi Narayan Shah will never be known as patriot.
But, due to the traitor's leadership, since 2006 Nepal is in danger position. The corrupt leaders and parties wish to ride over roughshod over the Nepali people and trampling their hopes, dreams and aspirations in the process. This is what we have witnessed for almost two decades now. Democracy in a true sense is the greatest of liberators of society and humanity but instead in Nepal it has turned into a curse that has polluted the very essence and lifeblood of our glorious nation, a true Holy Land, a Hindu nation.
That is all.
Please, read, think and decide yourselfly.
Never forget-means justify the ends but not- ends justify the means.
Dirgha Raj Prasai